Yes it’s true, yours truly finally caught a wave! I really struggled the first 2 weeks of class and couldn’t even catch one wave. I kept at it and by the third week I caught my first wave and have been “easily” catching them ever since. Here’s a few things I learned…
If you’re completely new to surfing, it takes several weeks to adjust to being in the water for long periods. There’s the dizziness factor caused by the salt water and the rocking motion of the waves, the fatigue factor due to your body constantly being thrashed around, the balance factor of learning where and how to stand on your board, and the patience factor, which if you have it, counts for a lot as the learning curve in surfing can be high.
After adjusting to all of the above, wave selection and paddle action with your arms is very important. Catching the right wave at the right time can be done with minimal effort if you remember to paddle several seconds before the wave even approaches, as your momentum will carry you forward, and hopefully place you on the wave.
In my experience catching a wave before it breaks was too difficult. I had wanted the bigger waves, paddling out further than I should have gone. Then one day I decided to just ride the whitewater (a wave after it has already broken) and that’s when I caught my first wave (actually it’s more like the wave catching me, but it’s all the same once I was on it). You can catch a wave on whitewater all without even paddling. Angle yourself towards shore and if the whitewater is coming in fast enough, get on your board, putting more weight towards the back than the front so you don’t nosedive after catching the wave. Balance, balance, balance, and your first wave will be had!
After I caught several waves riding on whitewater, I felt confident maneuvering myself around. Only then did I paddle further out and actually catch a wave right after it broke. I’ve been catching them ever since, although it’s only been about a week:)
There’s this truly amazing, exhilarating feeling you get the instant you’re standing on your board and riding a wave. The experience is like walking on water. You keep thinking you’re gonna fall (and at first you do) but then you manage to center yourself and suddenly you’re gliding on water.
I caught my first wave on a 8.5-foot long board. Just yesterday I tried out a 10-footer and WOW, the experience is even more stimulating. I felt much more connected to the wave and was reminded of how small I am.
This blog is the third part in my “summer” blog. I’ve been tinkering around with different usernames and finally found the perfect one with “romanticasianguy” to hint at where I’m coming from. The first and second part of my original blog is San Diego Summer Vacation 2010: sun, sand, surf and Coronado Blues.